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Topics - AsuraFiend

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brainstorming & development / Lost Worlds Decadent & Dying
« on: May 10, 2017, 04:27:28 AM »
I'm going to be soon running what I hope will become my first long run (as in more than a few sessions) PbtA game, and making it a hack... my very first one. So, very much an experiment (I've released things for Fate in the past, but this is new to me).  I'm both having fun working on it, and finding it frustrating in some ways.

It's a Dying Earth subgenre setting, but, I pull inspiration from a lot of different sources beyond that subgenre's namesake (truth be told, I have only read a little bit of Vance's work by that name, but, am making a point to continue reading more for this, though, I'm not sure I actually want it to become the main inspiration source since there's so many RPGs that take A LOT from it, and many other directions to go with the Dying Earth/Dying Worlds idea.)

Here's the basic premise:

Reality is fraying away at the edges, as entropy wears away at it like waves erode away the shoreline.  The Lost Worlds and the cities of the GodKings remain, and these divine tyrants rule with an iron fist, defining the very nature of the real within their domain.

Into this eroding existence you were born; surrounded by a fantastic and terrifying world beyond your control. But, then a single event changed you; you became as terrifying and wondrous as the world that surrounded you, and saw reality for what it was; a story nearing its end as the candlelight dies. But must it end? Can you continue the tale, and thus reforge the world? What risks will you take to do so? And what will you become in the process?


So, it's about people, who were human (or at least humanish), living in a world where reality is falling apart at the seams, and becoming increasingly weird. Most people can do little about this, except perhaps in large, focused groups, but, your character had an Event happen to them which Changed them. The result is that they become, well, think, mystic mutants of a sort, all capable of doing certain reality warping things via in character narration (reality responds to their storytelling, because it's so degraded the line between reality and fiction is blurred in the setting itself). Their Origin (how they became what they are) further colors particular... superpowers, or magic for lack of a better term. Depending on their usage of their abilities, they may eventually become entropic monsters, or inhuman GodKings.

I'm thinking of having characters created with playbooks much like standard PbtA ones, and then they also pick an Origin, which is basically "what event Changed you?" and that determines how their weirder abilities and traits manifest. It's sort of like a secondary, more simplified playbook that they get to add Moves from, sort of vaguely like how Dungeon World has race specific Moves.
I was actually just going to have the Origin Moves be the only ones (outside the basic ones, and a few others all PCs can use), but, the more I worked on them the more they felt like cool extras that help further define a character (and also emphasise that they walk the path towards becoming increasingly something else), but not really a whole basis for a character on their own. I shall still have to see how it plays out though.

The difference between these Origins and DW's races though is, that, they really are separate from "Class", and there's a list to choose from for each Origin, er... race. This separate race and class thing is very common in other RPGs (it makes me think of templates from D&D), but, I can't think of another PbtA game that does this.  I'm wondering, if this really not "kosher" to do, or is there perhaps another PbtA game that has done this sort of "pick your superpowers from here, but use this for your main Playbook"?

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blood & guts / How many playbooks do I need?
« on: May 08, 2017, 06:54:16 AM »
Hi all, first time posting here, and, I'm still very new to PbtA, but, I've played Dungeon World, ran a teeny tiny bit of Urban Shadows, and have been reading AW.

I'm starting a PbtA hack, as I really love to work with game systems and build on them, and am going to start running it for my meatspace group soon, I have enough of it functional for them to dive into, but, I'm running into an issue of, AW has soooo many playbooks, to really give enough options for different characters, it seems like I should have a similar number.

I have 7 playbooks mostly nailed down (though I expect them to go through changes), but, that feels like not enough to avoid eventually having a lot of overlap in characters because there's just not that much to choose from.  I can kinda think of a potential number 8 & maybe 9, but, beyond that, really not coming to me for this game.

So, is there an ideal number of playbooks?  Is 7 or even 9 really just not enough variety? Should I be stressing about this?

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